The Raptors will host their first NBA Finals games in franchise history after an impressive conference semis win over Milwaukee. Their defence was excellent in the closeout game 6, holding Milwaukee to just 40% from the field and 34% from 3. Kawhi Leonard led the way offensively, going off for 27 points, 17 boards, and 7 assists. Kyle Lowry also chipped in nicely with 17 points, 8 assists, and 5 boards, while Pascal Siakam and Fred VanVleet combined for a further 32.
Golden State Warriors
Despite trailing heavily in each of the last 3 games, Golden State ultimately managed what turned out to be a very comfortable sweep. Stephen Curry was outstanding all series, capping it off with a 37-point triple-double in the closeout game 4. Draymond Green wasn’t far behind, dropping 18 points, 14 boards, 11 assists, and 3 steals. Kevon Looney also stepped up nicely off the bench, adding a quick-fire 14 points and 12 boards of his own. Kevin Durant has been officially ruled out for game 1, with Andre Iguodala set to play and DeMarcus Cousins questionable.
Prediction: Warriors +1
This is a tough one to call but the early money on Toronto has me leaning the other way. The Warriors enter this series very well rested, which should help tremendously given their injury woes. I can see Toronto struggling to score against this elite defence, especially if Kawhi is still feeling the effects of his injury. Steph Curry is also set for the best Finals of his career and he should be very motivated in this one. While I think it’s a 1-1 split through the first 2, Golden State look decent value to claim the opener as underdogs.
One trend that has largely held up all season is backing the over in Warriors road games. They’ve consistently put up points on the road this season, with or without Kevin Durant. If Curry can keep up his excellent play from the Conference Finals, points shouldn’t be too hard to come by for the Warriors. Similarly, if these sides keep up their very fast pace, we should see a ton of opportunities for points.